Few things in life are as satisfying as a trip abroad, and most of us can hardly wait until we leave on our great adventure. Anticipation of things to come merely heightens our delight. Planning our trips is part of the enjoyment. Running around, buying our tickets, luggage, clothes and other items that we plan to take with us don’t even seem like chores. It’s not even painful to pay for these things because we know that soon we’ll be exploring places we’ve never been before. However, there is one “fly in this ointment”, one more expense that we’d rather not have because even though it costs us money, we receive no tangible benefit. What am I talking about? Why, travel insurance, of course!!!

Is Buying Travel Insurance at the Last Moment Okay?

I don’t know about you, but as far as I’m concerned, paying for travel health insurance is not exactly my favorite way of spending money. Could it be because travel insurance is not exactly sexy? Or is it because it just adds to the cost of an already expensive trip? Whatever the reason, I’d rather not spend the bucks on travel insurance. However, because I know that it really is a necessity, I buy it. Nevertheless, I tend to put off the purchase as long as possible because it still feels like an “extra”. Am doing myself a favor or not?

Are You a Gambler?

Is keeping my money in my pocket for as long as possible helping me or hurting me? By delaying my travel medical insurance purchase until the day I leave, I’m actually hurting myself. This is because I’m actually gambling that nothing will happen to me before I buy my insurance. I’m betting that I or someone in my family won’t fall ill or get injured prior to departure. Also, if I haven’t bought it and something bad does happen, I won’t have any insurance coverage and I’ll be out of luck. Wouldn’t I be smarter to get my travel insurance ASAP in order to minimize my risk and maximize my potential benefits?

Don’t Lose Your Pre-Existing Condition Coverage

There is another reason to buy travel insurance without delay. Sometimes we make our travel arrangements in stages and don’t book our flights at the same time. We travelers are eligible for pre-existing medical condition exclusion waivers provided we buy our travel insurance from 7 to 21 days (depending on the policy) of making our arrangements. If we wait longer, we may not be eligible for those benefits, especially if a previously unknown health condition should materialize.

Don’t Wait To Finalize Everything Before Buying

Whenever I have traveled, I have known in advance what my plane tickets were going to cost, but what about you? Maybe you’ve made travel plans but have not yet bought your plane tickets. I suggest that it’s a good idea to buy your travel insurance even if you haven’t bought your tickets because doing so will ensure that you will qualify for the pre-existing condition exclusion waiver. If you don’t know what your flight will cost, estimate the cost and include this figure in the total cost of your trip. Later, when you have purchased your flight tickets, you can advise the insurance company. That way you will not risk being ineligible for coverage for a medical conditions that crops up prior to departure.

What If You’ve Already Left on Your Trip?

I happen to be one of the world’s greatest procrastinators. My motto is, “Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow because you might get lucky and not have to do it at all!” Maybe you, too, are a Great Procrastinator and you avoid buying travel insurance before you leave on your trip. What happens if you have delayed buying your travel insurance or expatriate insurance until AFTER your departure? Are you out of luck? Are you ineligible for insurance because you didn’t buy it before you left home?

Fortunately, the good news is that, even if you decide to buy after departure, you are still eligible for insurance. If you can get access to the internet, both travel insurance and expatriate insurance can be found and purchased online, even after you’ve left on your trip or taken up residence abroad. As the old saying goes, “Better late than never,” especially in this case!

Can You Get Insurance for Someone Else Who Has Already Left?

Here’s another scenario. What if there is an emergency and a family member (including minors) or a friend or employee has not bought travel insurance but has already left on their trip? Do they have to travel uninsured? The answer is no, they don’t have to go without travel insurance. You, or someone else they designate, can go online and purchase travel insurance on their behalf. It’s good to know that when friends, family or employees are too busy to get their own travel insurance, they don’t have to go without it.

In this case, all you need to do is fill out an online application and make the required online payment. You’ll get instant confirmation and can even print out a copy of the policy. There is one cautionary note though. If you’re purchasing travel insurance on behalf of a minor, you’ll first have to register as an adult in order to get the insurance. It is also important to note that they will not be eligible for coverage for pre-existing medical conditions that occur during the trip after departure and prior to purchasing their insurance. This is merely another reason why purchasing travel insurance should not be delayed.

In the World of Travel Insurance, Timing Definitely IS Everything

Timing is everything, they say. Purchasing travel or expatriate insurance was probably not on the mind of whoever coined that phrase. Nevertheless, those words apply as much to buying travel insurance as they do to anything else. Given the potential for financial ruin if you’re not insured, the time to buy yours is before you need it because buying it after you need it is impossible and much too late. Learn from the “Great Procrastinator” and get the insurance you need before you need it.

Your Itinerary. As much as possible, plan to stay in larger hotels that have more elaborate security. Safety experts recommend booking a room from the second to seventh floors above ground level to deter easy entrance from outside, but low enough for fire equipment to reach.

Because take-off and landing are the most dangerous times of a flight, book non-stop flights when possible. When there is a choice of airport or airline, ask your travel agent about comparative safety records.

Legal Documents. Have your affairs at home in order. If you leave a current will, insurance documents, and power of attorney with your family or a friend, you can feel secure about traveling and will be prepared for any emergency that may arise while you are away. If you have minor children, consider making guardianship arrangements for them.

Register Your Trip. For US citizens, the State Department has made it very easy to register your trip regardless of what country you are visiting. They have an online form that takes about 5 minutes to fill out at travel.state.gov. Take a few moments to fill this out. Leave a copy of your passport and visa with a good friend or relative.

Credit. Make a note of the credit limit on each credit card that you bring. Contact your credit card company before you go and tell them the dates of your travel. Make certain not to charge over that amount on your trip. In some countries, Americans have been arrested for innocently exceeding their credit limit. Ask your credit card company how to report the loss of your card from abroad. 800 numbers may not work from abroad, but your company should have a number that you can call while you are overseas.

Insurance. Find out if your personal property insurance covers you for loss or theft abroad. More importantly, check on whether your health insurance covers you abroad. Medicare and Medicaid do not provide payment for medical care outside the U.S. Even if your health insurance will reimburse you for medical care that you pay for abroad, normal health insurance does not pay for medical evacuation from a remote area or from a country where medical facilities are inadequate. Consider purchasing one of the short-term health and emergency assistance policies designed for travelers. Also, make sure that the plan you purchase includes medical evacuation in the event of an accident or serious illness.

Are you planning on attending a business meeting or taking a vacation out of the country? If so, you will need to book a seat on an international flight. Have you ever been on an international flight before? If not, there are a number of factors that you should first consider, such as the international air travel rules. In fact, it is not only recommended that you do, it is required that you do. Not knowing all of the international air travel rules could land you in a boatload of trouble.

When it comes to air travel rules, many travelers, maybe even you, automatically think of being in-flight. While there are in-flight travel rules that you must abide by, there are also other rules. These other rules are ones that apply in all airports, including international airports. Since you will arrive at the airport first, before actually boarding your airplane, it is advised that you first familiarize yourself with these common air travel rules.

As previously mentioned, there are a number of airport rules that exist in all airports, regardless of whether those airports are international airports or domestic airports. These rules commonly include a list of prohibited items, the screening of all baggage, the removal of your shoes, and the screening of passengers. In addition to these airport travel rules, which can be found in almost all airports in the United States, there are some air travel rules that only apply to international airports.

The number one rule that you must abide by at an international airport is identifying who you are. Since airline officials and airport security cannot guarantee that you are who you claim to be, you will need to show proof of identification. Depending on where you are traveling to, this identification may need to be more than a simple government issued identification card or driver’s license. In fact, you may also need to supply your birth certificate, a passport, a visa, or a certificate of citizenship. For additional information on which proofs of identification are required, you are advised to contact the international airport or airline that you will be using.

Once you have made it though all of the international airport security checkpoints, you should be able to begin boarding your plane. When boarding your airplane, you are advised to do it in a calm, but timely matter. As soon as your airplane is in the air, you need to follow all instructions given by the pilot or flight attendants. This includes staying in your seat until it is safe to get up. In the event that you refuse to cooperate with the airline staff, you may be putting yourself and other passengers in danger.

While it is important to understand all international air travel rules, there are many travelers who are unsure why those rules are so important. They are important not only for your safety and well being, but for the safety and well being of others. Although it may seem ridiculous at the time, but if you refuse to stay in your seat or you are caught arguing with airport security, you will find that you are automatically labeled a terror suspect. This is largely due in part to the fear of another terrorist attack. Once this happens it is often difficult or impossible to go back to normal.

In the event that you violate international airport security rules, intentionally or not, it is likely that you will be pulled aside. Depending of the rule that you violated, you may only receive a warning, but you could also receive much more. Should you be labeled as a suspicious traveler, you may be detained by airport security or local authorities for an undetermined amount of time. The same can be said for international air travel rule violations in the air. Once your airplane is able to land, often at the nearest available airport, you will be held for questioning.

What will happen after questioning will all depend on your actions and the preferences of local authorities or airport security. Since you can never guarantee the outcome of your actions, it is important that you stay on your best behavior when at an international airport or aboard an international flight.

Have you flown within the last year? How about within the last month? Even if you have, there is there is a good chance that things have changed since the last time that you were at the airport. While you may be thinking about the airport layout, it is actually the air travel rules that have likely changed. As more security issues arise, often on a daily or weekly basis, the airlines decide to enforce new travel rules. In the event that these new enforcement do go into effect, do you know how to go about finding what they are?

Before you can learn to familiarize yourself with new air travel rules, if there are any, you will want to understand the benefits of learning those rules. Unfortunately, too many travelers are worried about having the proper forms of identification that they don’t always worry about the items that they pack. If you are one of those individuals, there is a good chance that you may, unintentionally, pack items that are prohibited past airport security checkpoints. Depending on the prohibited item, you may be required to make additional accommodations, discard of the item, or turn it over to airport security.

In addition to prohibited items, there are also new air travel rules that apply to security screening procedures. For instance, all air travelers are now required to remove their shoes. Your shoes will be scanned along with the rest of your carry on luggage. While this may pose an inconvenience, it is a requirement. Failing to comply with this requirement, as well as others, may lead to you being detained by airport security or local authorities. In addition to missing your flight, you may even face prosecution for your actions. However, this can all be prevented by knowing and understanding the new air travel rules, as well as the old ones.

Perhaps, the best way to familiarize yourself with air travel rules is to go directly to the source. That source is the organization that makes and essentially enforces those rules, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). You can obtain valuable information from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), including information on air travel rules, by directly contacting them or by visiting their online website. That online website can be found at www.tsa.gov. You are advised to fully examine this online website. You will find that it has a large amount of information that you need to know.

In addition to using the internet to examine the online website of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), you can also use it to perform a standard internet search. By searching with the words new air travel rules, you should be provided with a number of different results. Those results are likely to include websites or news reports with information on air travel, including the rules that are enforced aboard all airplanes or in all airports. When doing this, it is important to keep your source of information in mind. A large number of websites with inaccurate, misleading, outdated information can be found online.

It may also be a good idea to contact the airline or airport that you plan on using. This contact can be made over the phone or the same information can easily be obtained online. Whether you visit the online website of a particular airline or airport or contact their representatives directly, you should be able to famialrize yourself with newly implemented air travel rules. It is also advised that you contact each airline or airport directly because they tend to have different rules. Airport screening procedures may vary from one airport to another, as well as rules aboard particular airlines.

With a small amount of time and research, you should easily be able to learn all of the rules of air travel, including the ones that were recently implemented. Not only will doing so make your flight more pleasant, but it will help to reduce wait times and ensure that you will make it to your intended destination.